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 Notes on innovation.

How Do Revolutions Emerge? Lessons from the Fosbury Flop:

Only in the 1700s did an amateur ice skater come up with the idea to replace the blade on the ice skates with a set of lined-up wheels. The Dutch, the British, and the Scotts, who established a skating club in 1742, quickly adopted the new invention...
Two twenty-year-old brothers named Scott and Brennan Olson found an old pair of in-line skates as they were cleaning the shed of the toy store in which they had been working. The antiquated design captured their imagination, and they started to develop a new brand of skates, based on the in-line design. To their advantage were the new materials and new technologies that al lowed for the design of lighter skates that offered the skater higher speeds than those made possible with roller skates. They called their new invention "Rollerblades" because of the blade-like shape of the set of wheels. Interestingly, they knew noth ing of the name "in-line skates." After a somewhat rough beginning, together with a businessman by the name of Naegele Jr., they began to manufacture and market the product, and by 1992, rollerblades had become a $22.5 million industry.

How to think outside the box and innovate new ideas by Mayo Oshin, 2020:

Fosbury shocked the world by setting a new Olympic world record by clearing a height of 2.24 meters with his Fosbury flop technique—winning the gold medal in the process. But most importantly, his disruptive innovation completely changed the ‘best practices’ and philosophy of the high jump athletic discipline... Since 1972 till date, every single Olympic gold medalist and record holder has successfully used the “Fosbury Flop.” Who would have known that this average athlete, Dick Fosbury, could outperform his competition and become a champion?

His willingness to experiment with new ideas contributed to his success, but something else also played an important role—his environment. Up until the 1960s, high jump athletes cleared the bar and landed on hard ground—sawdust, sand and low mats. As a result, innovation of the high jump techniques attempted to ensure that the athletes landed on their feet. Fortunately for Dick Fosbury, his high school was one of the first to install a deep foam matting for high jump landing. This new environmental shift gave Fosbury the opportunity to try out new ways to clear the bar i.e. landing on his back instead of his leg.